Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion, is observed through Hubble Telescope in new study

Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion, is observed through Hubble Telescope in new study

A rare metallic asteroid about three times farther away from the sun than our planet could yield secrets about Earth’s molten core, and scientists want to learn all about it.

A new study published Monday in The Planetary Science Journal takes a closer look at this mysterious asteroid, using data from the Hubble Telescope.

Located between Mars and Jupiter, Asteroid 16 Psyche is one of the most massive objects in the asteroid belt in our solar system, and with a diameter of about 140 miles, it is roughly the same length as Massachusetts (if you exclude Cape Cod).

The exact composition of Psyche is still unclear, but scientists think it’s possible the asteroid is mostly made of iron and nickel. It’s been hypothesized that a piece of iron of its size could be worth about $10,000 quadrillion, more than the entire economy on our planet.

Scientists believe that Psyche could be the metallic core of an early planet that lost its mantle and crust due to collisions that might have occurred early in the formation of the solar system.

In 2022, NASA will send an unmanned spacecraft to Psyche to study it up close and better determine its composition.

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